Dolphins' rally stings Patriots

Updated: December 21, 2004, 9:43 AM ET
By Michele Tafoya | ABC Sports, for Insider

What was supposed to be a dog of an NFL game turned out to be one of the most exciting finishes we've had on Monday Night Football this season.

The defending Super Bowl Champions, winners of 33 of their last 34 games, collapsed. The New England Patriots were leading the Dolphins 28-17 in Miami late in the fourth quarter but allowed a two-touchdown rally in the game's final two minutes.

The breakdown was punctuated by a Tom Brady interception, which the quarterback threw while falling to the ground while in the clutches of Dolphins DE Jason Taylor, who told me after the game, "Thank goodness I didn't get the sack, because Brady threw the interception. I'm sure Tom would like that one back, but he can't have it."

After Brady's ill-advised throw, A.J. Feeley made a great 21-yard TD throw to Derrius Thompson on fourth-and-10 to give Miami a one-point lead with 1:23 to play, seemingly plenty of time for New England to drive into field-goal range and let kicker Adam Vinatieri do his thing. But Brady was forced into another interception, the fourth of the night for last season's Super Bowl MVP.

This game hurt New England on a couple of levels. First, it took them off pace to get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Second, it hurt their pride.